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<MERGERS: Commission Approval

Commission finds Netto's acquisition of the property of a supermarket falls outside EU merger control

The Commission has concluded that the transaction by which UK supermarket discount chain Netto plans to acquire the freehold property of a former supermarket store located in the United Kingdom from Morrisons does not amount to a concentration within the meaning of the EU Merger Regulation. Netto is a joint venture between the UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's and the Danish supermarket chain Dansk Supermarkd. Netto re-entered the United Kingdom market in 2014 after having exited in 2010. The property to be acquired was operated as a supermarket by Morrisons, who closed the business in November 2015. Netto plans to re-open it under the Netto brand. The Commission found that the target cannot be considered as a business with a market presence to which turnover can be attributed. This is because the proposed operation is limited to the transfer of the freehold property of the target and involves no transfer of any other tangible or intangible assets, goodwill or employees. The proposed operation is therefore outside the scope of EU merger control. More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7940. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso - Tel.: +32 229 80100; Carolina Luna Gordo - Tel.: +32 229 68386)

Source: European Commission